April 2020: On Yajña


Yajña, on 8 April 2020.


What would happen if you took the opportunity of this slower pace of life to honour your actions, however small they are? This is yajña. How do you think it would make you feel? Yajña is usually translated as sacrifice and although this is correct, it refers more to the sacredness found in sacrifice. It means consecrating your actions, with devotion, as an offering to whatever or whomever you want to offer them to.

Yajña is explained by Krishna to Arjuna in chapter 3 of the Bhagavad Gita, the chapter focusing on how to act. In verse 3.9 Krishna says: ‘People are bound by their actions except when they are performed for the sake of yajña. Thus, Arjuna, do your work, free from attachments, in the spirit of yajña.’ An action performed in yajña is its own reward, irrespective of the outcome. It is a win-win situation.

I found in yajña a life leson. My teacher Kia once shared with me that the single thing that changed her practice the most was gratitude. Gratitude and the offering in yajña are related; they have that magical transformative power.

Start small (with a meal, a cup of tea, sunshine), and, before long, you will find yourself smiling and yajña permeating many aspects of your life, making it one of honouring. Yes, things could be better right now, they always can, but this does not negate that we are here, and for that, we are fortunate. This is truly a gift and a blessing, worth celebrating.

Laura x

What I have been practicing

Breath is sacred, however it is for you right now, even if it is difficult at this time of a world-wide respiratory disease. Breath is the closer I feel to practicing yajña daily. It is a support, a treasure, a tool, a miracle. I never tire of it. It is always different, surprising, telling and supporting. More than ever, I seat to breathe daily, as a way of checking in, of strengthening my mind and body, of inviting the parasympathetic nervous system to heal the ravages of this isolation.

Monthly, I also practice in a group with Siobhan Fitzgerald at Merchant City Yoga. Before our last class in April, Siobhan recorded a wonderful podcast about what the practices of Ashtanga Yoga and Pranayama mean to her. I found it very inspiring and I hope it helps you to sit with this marvellous practice.

If you want to be introduced to a safe breath practice you can do daily in your home, please get in touch with me for a 1-1 online session.

What I have been listening to

Kia has a podcast! Every single episode has felt like a gift and I am so grateful to have her voice. There are philosophy talks, meditations and, my favourite, a soundscape with which you can practice. It is the closest I can feel to practicing in the studio again! Have a listen. It is truly warming, with Kia’s teachings, Yotam’s perfect sonic landscape relaxing the nervous system, and some natural sounds of the shala, breath, whispers, bodies moving.

It makes me feel closer to all of you and listening to Kia is a good way to connect with the sacredness of why we do this practice. It is not only to keep active and healthy at this time of confinement, it is a a tool to feel the full riches of life, which are there even in the situation we find ourselves in. It is so easy to forget, which is why we need to keep returning to true yoga practice, a practice of gratitude, openness, service, presence and devotion.

What I have been watching

Some of you might know that I have been studying Chapter 3 of the Bhagavad Gita with my teacher James Boag on zoom. It is in this chapter that Krishna outlines yajña as a form of practice, and it is life changing. James’ approach to yoga is healing, accessible, wholesome and compassionate. In between classes, I have been watching some of his videos of YouYube. I recommend this playlist, in which he starts you on a journey by answering the question What is yoga?Through Merchant City Yoga, James will be holding a new programme of yoga philosophy focusing on chapter 2 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (the practical chapter) on Mondays and Thursdays in May, from 7 to 9pm. To join us, check out Merchant City Yoga’s timetable. Absolutely no previous experience required. James will explain all you need to know!


We may not be able to gather under the same roof, but we are all practicing under the same sky – with the possibility to tap into the beauty and energy of shared intention.

Mysore Yoga Paris online Shala with Kia Naddermier will open April 27th and you are all welcome to connect via zoom, from wherever you are! The beauty of this virtual space is that we are finally able to bring our wider community together from all over the world…

This is an amazing opportunity to practice with my teacher. The current situation can have some positives and this is definitely one of them. It will transform your confinement time.

Kia will be holding this sacred space connecting us all, in the hope that it will resource, nourish and support you in these vulnerable and tender times. We remain Closer Together than ever before.




Monday 18 May 2020, 3-4.30pm UK timeI will run this free workshop online on Zoom. Please sign up if you want to attend!

A practical workshop exploring breath practices to enhance good quality sleep. In addition, Laura will also prepare practices to boost your immune system at the time of Covid-19, which is, after all, a respiratory disease.

Led by Professor Laura González, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week

For a free place email l.gonzalez@rcs.ac.uk. Places are very limited!

As part of her Creative Scotland Open Project Funding award, Laura is studying the practice of pranayama (breath control) to enhance presence and resilience in performers.

She will be offering a free open workshop focusing on breath and sleep and the impact both have on the mental health of performers. The session will be introductory, practical and open to everyone.

As part of this workshop you will:

• Learn about the breath and its link to mind and body.

• Be invited to deepen your breath safely, allowing you to become more aware and calmer

• Be introduced specific practices that will help you to connect to your parasympathetic nervous system, which will allow you to sleep better and to boost your immune system.


All of my open classes are off until the quarantine in the UK is lifted. A few of us meet twice a week on zoom to self-practice together 8-9.30am and then we stay on for a chat. Please email me if you want to join us. No need to know the sequence, I can send you a cheat sheet!

I am also available for pranayama one-to-one sessions online and will be running the Breathe and Sleep workshop above.

I have been attending Maureen Thorpe‘s zoom classes and Judi Farrell’s Sunday Counted Primary at Merchant City Yoga. Both are a joy and you should try them! Please email me for details. From late April, I will be practicing with Kia in my living room (see details of her online shala above). What a phenomenal treat!